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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkiye on Friday signed Trade in Goods Agreement (TGA) aimed at increasing bilateral trade between the two countries to US$ 5 billion in the next three years; and the prime minister invited Turkish investors to invest in hydel, wind, and solar power generation.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif witnessed the signing ceremony by Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar and Turkish Minister of Trade Mehmet Mus.

The trade agreement was the key agenda during the recent visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz to Turkiye in May 2022. During the visit, the leadership of both countries expressed keen interest in expediting and concluding the negotiations by July 2022.

Later, speaking at a lunch hosted by the prime minister in honour of Turkish trade minister, the premier said that this is one of the most important achievements of the Minister for Commerce and his team and the Turkish Trader Minister and his team.

The prime minister stated that this trade in goods agreement now reflects the strength of brotherhood between the two countries and the fraternal relations.

Pakistan, Turkiye to sign PTA today

He said that sadly trade and investment volume did not do justice to the unique relationships between the two countries and this agreement would pave the way for future business and in the next three years’ bilateral trade by $5 billion.

Shehbaz further stated that the agreement was signed within two months after his visit to Turkiye, which provides immense opportunities as Turkiye has immense experience in constructing hydel project and we want Turkish companies to come and invest in Pakistan because an immense hydel potential remained untapped.

He said that this year, Pakistan’s oil import bill was US$ 20 billion which the country cannot afford; therefore, there is a need to explore alternative resources of energy, hydel, solar, and wind, and Pakistan is blessed with the potential.

The prime minister said that he had a final meeting today to take a decision which are the low hanging fruit – like tube-wells to be run by solar, 5,000 to 6,000-MW solar parks through public and private partnership, solar panels for poor households and solarisation of government offices – these are main areas where the targets can be achieved and a difference between past, present, and future can be created.

The premier said that he has spoken to the trade minister to send Turkish manufacturers cum investors to Pakistan. He said that he would personally host them and will not leave this matter to the bureaucracy as this would save Pakistan billions of dollars. I guarantee swift payment to potential investors through the SBP and Banks profit of whatever in hydel, solar, and wind, he added.

Earlier, the premier after witnessing the signing of the agreement appreciated Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar for his leadership role in concluding the agreement and the Ministry of Trade of Turkiye, who also expeditiously worked on their side.

Naveed Qamar said that the agreement being signed would not only pave way for further enhancing trade and investment between the two countries but would also strengthen the already existing friendly ties.

He said that the agreement on trade in goods is an important breakthrough in improving the economic relations between both countries. Under the agreement, Pakistan’s exporters will have market access in Turkiye in 261 tariff lines covering both agriculture and the industrial sector.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Ministry of Commerce issued after the event said that Pakistan’s exporters will have market access in traditional sectors such as leather, rice, dates and mangoes, cutlery, and sports goods. In addition, exporters will also have market access in many non-traditional sectors such as tyres, fans, batteries, glass, ceramics, plastics, fisheries, processed agriculture, razors, furniture and base metals.

Turkish import market in the sectors covered under the agreement amounts to US$ 7.6 billion highlighting a significant potential for Pakistan’s exporters to increase their market share.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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